The main topic at the 15th RGA on 24 April 2018 was “Digitalization and the Corresponding Changes in the Gaming Sector”. Nowadays, gambling is basically accessible everywhere, at any time and by anyone. This raises a number of important questions, many of which were discussed at the conference. 250 delegates attended the presentations by national and international experts. The RGA 2018 was organized as a certified Green Event.
In his presentation, the distinguished British behavioral scientist Mark Griffiths demonstrated the possibilities afforded by digital monitoring of online gamblers. He also presented the “MENTOR” self-monitoring program developed in cooperation with win2day. This tool allows players to monitor their gambling activities and provides them with feedback on any changes and potentially problematic trends.
Shelley White, CEO of the Responsible Gaming Council in Toronto, Canada, addressed the topic of responsible gaming in times of rapid change. She emphasized that socially compatible and responsible practices are essential not only when it comes to preventing problem gambling but also for raising public perception.
Tobias Hayer from the University of Bremen in Germany talked about the delicate issue of youth gambling. He provided insights into the attraction of gambling, which research indicates is similar to experimenting with drugs, and the increased risk that is posed by simulated gambling online.
Neven Ricijaš from the University of Zagreb used Croatia as an example to demonstrate the effects of a liberalized gambling market, especially in terms of availability and accessibility. He noted that it is still easy for minors nowadays to participate in gambling – especially sports betting – even though it is illegal for them to do so.
(l. to r.): Dietmar Hoscher (Director), Shelley White, Bettina Glatz-Kremsner (Director), Andrea Köhler-Ludescher, Neven Ricijaš, Mark Griffiths, Michael Willis, Alexander Labak (Director General), Tobias Hayer, Herbert Beck (Head of Responsible Gaming Division).
The communication expert Andrea Köhler-Ludescher, grandniece of the communication theorist Paul Watzlawick, demonstrated in her presentation how non-verbal communication, above all in the internet, has developed in the last 20 to 30 years. She also described the challenges that come with “analog interpersonal communication in the digital web” using emojis, etc.
Michael Willis from the Maria Ebene Hospital Foundation in Vorarlberg reported on the diagnosis, prevention, treatment and avoidance of a relapse of gambling addiction in everyday clinical practice. In addition to providing information on the work of the foundation’s addiction prevention unit (SUPRO), he also described the activities of its “Clean” outpatient clinics, focusing thereby on the special needs of patients with multiple addictions, e.g. alcohol and nicotine dependency.
One Company Workshop on 23 April 2018
In keeping with our “One Company” philosophy, the first joint workshop for our Guest Relations & Organization and WINWIN managers was held in Vienna during the 15th RGA. The participants worked using the Lego® Serious Play® innovation method to identify responsible gaming and player protection synergies across our Business Units.
Responsible Gaming Stakeholder Dialog 2018
The 2018 RGA was followed by the 4th Casinos Austria and Austrian Lotteries Group Responsible Gaming Stakeholder Dialog. This annual discussion forum is an important element of our comprehensive efforts to be a responsible gaming operator.
Distinguished experts discussed the conclusions of two of the presentations at the day’s conference, namely those on advertising and communication in the digital age and the problem of youth gambling.
The discussions centered on the following questions:
- What are the challenges for gambling companies when it comes to the transition from youth to adulthood?
- Which gambling adverts attract the attention of youth?
- Which advertising activities should gambling companies refrain from?
- Which adverts and products manipulate youth?
- Which products are dangerous?
- What needs to be considered?
- When does fascination and attraction become a risk? Which risks should be minimized?
We use the results of our stakeholder dialogs to improve and extend our responsible gaming measures.